April 19, 2002

Holzman, Khaitan manuscript published in JAMA

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Dr. John Tarpley makes a point at the Ethics Grand Rounds regarding cultural disparities in medical treatment. Also on the panel were, from left, Lori Cabbage, Carter Moody, and Jean Gauld-Jaeger. (photo by Dana Johnson)

Dr. Michael Holzman, assistant professor of Surgery, and Dr. Leena Khaitan, instructor in Surgery, authored a manuscript appearing in the Contempo Updates section of the March 27 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association. The manuscript, titled “Laparoscopic Advances in General Surgery,” provided an overview of the past, present, and future of laparoscopic surgical procedures.

When first introduced, laparoscopic surgery was portrayed by the news media as a “band-aid” surgery and was widely perceived by the public as having somewhat limited applications. However, laparoscopic procedures, according to a 2000 report, have become a staple of general surgery. In many cases, laparoscopic surgery has greatly reduced the amount of time required for recovery as well as the pain and discomfort associated with open surgical procedures.

Examples of ideal laparoscopy candidates include patients suffering from gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) or those requiring hernia repair or colorectal resection. Certain organ removal procedures can also be successfully completed using the minimally invasive approach and causing less trauma and tissue injury than larger laparotomy incision or open surgery.

Within the past decade, minimally invasive surgery has revolutionized the practice of general surgery. At present, technological advancements such as robotic and computer integration into the OR are being investigated.

Laparoscopy is a growing field. In addition to the growing number of surgical laparoscopic procedures, instrumentation and technique continue to evolve and undergo modification to increase both effectiveness and safety.